Regulating Non-Compete Agreements

Jimmy John’s, a well-known sandwich chain, made national news in 2014 for requiring its sandwich makers to sign non-compete agreements as a condition of employment. The Jimmy John’s non-compete agreement prohibited employees for two years from working at companies that derived at least 10 percent of sales from selling sandwiches and operated within two miles of a Jimmy John’s store. This news item brought the issue of non-competes covering workers in low-wage industries into the national conversation and it has not left. Due to the clear negative effect of these agreements that this coverage helped bring to light, state and federal legislators should endeavor to enact laws to ban entirely or severely limit the usage of non-compete agreements. In those states that have already banned or limited these agreements, states should attempt to increase enforcement in order to reduce their continuing usage with a special emphasis on assisting workers in low wage…

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